Mental Floss

How Many Hours Do People Spend Working in a Year?

Michele Debczak
Maskot/Royalty-free/iStock via Getty Images

If you check your work email first thing in the morning and at the end of the day, it’s time for a vacation. Despite getting less of it than workers in many countries, Americans are notoriously bad at using up their paid time off. If you need an excuse to get out of the office, seeing how many hours you work a year may finally motivate you.

According to FreshBooks, the traditional full-time schedule—40 hours of work per week—adds up to 2080 work hours in a year. Considering there are 8760 hours in a year total and we (ideally) spend a third of it sleeping, that number is tough to swallow. Fortunately, very few employees are clocking in from 9 to 5 every single weekday. At the very least, they get a number of paid holidays off, 11 of which are recognized by the U.S. federal government.

If your employer closes for business on every federal holiday, you automatically get 11 days of PTO subtracted from your schedule. Full-time employees with PTO get 10 days of additional vacation days per year on average. Assuming workers take full advantage of that benefit, the average work year adds up to 1912 hours.

That number is still high, and millions of people exceed it annually. Pressure to perform around the clock and guilt about taking breaks pushes many employees to work outside their normal hours and leave their PTO unused at the end of the year. To the productivity-minded among us, vacations can seem like a waste of time, but there are some surprising benefits to logging off. From boosting your energy to increasing your chances of getting a raise, here are some reasons to set that “out of office“ email.

[h/t FreshBooks]